NASA Rally Sport Sends Off Four Racers to the General Tire Mexican 1000 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE San Diego, California April 25, 2012 This weekend is the beginning of the General Tire Mexican 1000, a rally that races over 1200 miles down the length of the Baja peninsula. Sanctioned by NORRA and spanning four days with race stages up to 175 miles long, the rally is one of the most amazing events on the North American continent.
Four motorcycle riders who began their rally racing career with NASA Rally Sport will be competing over this grueling distance. Mike Gilkey, a former professional flat-track racer, returns to rally after a two year absence. He's bringing with him years of racing experience and plenty of rally titles too: Gilkey is a multiple time overall winner of RallyMoto rallies in the Atlantic Rally Cup series. Not content with simply racing everyone else for the win, Gilkey is also using the race as a fundraiser for a cause dear to him, the Special Olympics.
Traveling with Gilkey from the eastern US to Mexico is Aaron Gibson. Gibson has been around rally for over a decade. Although he's no stranger to WRC legend John Buffum's garage, it was not until NASA Rally Sport introduced its motorcycle program that he started competing. A formidable rider, he has taken his KTM to several overall wins during the last year. Gibson, deeply touched by his mother's recent battle with cancer, is fundraising for cancer research, and you can donate to his effort here, with 100% of the donations going to research. http://goo.gl/yrXvi
Doug Chapman's rally resume begins just last year with Rally West Virginia. 'I was a bit tentative signing up for that first rally, because I had never raced before.' recalls Chapman. 'But NASA Rally Sport's training program for new racers is very good. One year later, and now I'm headed off to my first international rally!'
Michael Gaynor is representing the west coast for NASA Rally Sport. It won't be his first trip to the desert, as in addition to rallies like Ridgecrest and High Desert Trails, he has also raced in pure desert events like the Mint 400. That combination of open desert experience and the knowledge of the stresses particular to a multi-day rally format event will give him an edge over the other purely off road riders.
'I'm very excited about what NORRA is doing.' says Anders Green of NASA Rally Sport. 'They have put together an amazing rally in Mexico and the organization has grown a great deal in just the last few years. It's great to be part of the rebirth of the most classic off road event. I'm also very proud of our NASA racers that will be riding there. NASA Rally Sport focuses on grassroots riders and growing new racing talent is a big part of our mission.'
The Mexican 1000 rally takes place over four days, starting Sunday April 29 in Mexicali and finishing over 1200 miles later in San Jose Del Cabo at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. The sanctioning body, NORRA, organized the first off road 1000 mile race in Baja back in the 1960s and has returned triumphantly over the last several years.
Photo: Mark Moore